An important personal note from Lacy!
In case you missed it late last week, please take a few minutes to read this letter I wrote just for you about the big things we accomplished in 2016, and the bigger things I'm planning for 2017!
As many of you know, I once again had the opportunity to attend the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute conference at the end of January, in balmy Minneapolis. (Insert the oft-repeated joke about taking "Winter Institute" literally here.) This was my second year attending, and just like last year I left with a head and notebook full of fantastic ideas, and only 12-17% of them are outlandish or downright impossible. Attending last year was incredibly clarifying for me, and helped me (as a still relatively new mother) get my head back in the proverbial game. As a result of that, 2016 was a year full of bold moves for me as a bookstore owner: I increased our staff and staffing hours, increased the amount of new books we carry, increased the amount of used books we allow customers to bring in for trade, expanded our selection of cards and merchandise, kept new and used books circulating faster than ever before, expanded our return policy, began fundraising for local and national organizations, participated in Indie Bookstore Day for the first time, committed to reduce winter hours for the staff as little as possible, moved from a DBA to an incorporated business, and established direct relationships with publishers and reps in order to grow and improve our offerings. (I've got some big plans for 2017, too--including, as was just announced in Bookselling This Week, a position on the ABA's Booksellers Advisory Council!)
As you've noticed, I also took a big leap and stepped away from the checkout counter much more than I ever had before, which was difficult but necessary. It was also SO SCARY. We've been in business, incredibly, for 5 1/2 years (continue reading...)